Wow..clearly I had no idea what it is to plan a kids birthday when I decided to throw one for my little ones 3rd birthday. She is old enough to know what she wants, she knows all her classmates now and young enough to not have any favourites and so obviously you end up inviting the whole class. Omg- this is a classic nightmare!!! Ok ok it’s not all that bad but really it’s a lot of work and it’s driving me crazy. I did do her 2nd birthday but that was so easy..her music class teacher came to entertain the kids with all the gear, all the food was home made with some warm pizzas from outside and it was just people we really knew well…so all in all
Here are key things that you have to plan for a kiddie party:
1. Theme – yes, I know..why do you need a theme at all. Why can’t it be a plain simple birthday party?? But for me the theme is the something that your child is crazy about and so you are just trying to give her lots of that..it could even be candy and then the theme would be candy..or the colour pink. Once you have picked that..what’s easy is to decide on decor and activities during the party. In my case my daughter loves the Peppa Pig cartoon like crazy and so that had to be it.
2. Decor – ok I think balloons are a complete waste ..yes kids like them but then they like many other things. At the school where I teach we make everything out of recycled material and so I think that’s a great idea for decor for your birthday parties as well otherwise you end up generating so much of waste especially non-biodegradable. Thanks to Pinterest DIY pics you can make just about anything…newspaper fans instead of balloons, cardboard box lanterns, dolls out of empty water bottles, lots of different stuff with used paper plates and glasses as well as plastic cups…it’s amazing how much you can make and create from these things that you wouldn’t need to buy or spend ridiculous amounts on decor and kids don’t really care as long as it’s colourful.
3. Cake and accompaniments – I use the word accompaniments because along with.l cake you can get cupcakes..so much easier to serve and for kids to eat or Cake pops ..which are yummy. And accept it..birthdays are for sugar high and so don’t go shy on candies and cookies and marshmallows. Kids love it and it’s not everyday that they eat that stuff..I sure hope not. It’s not a birthday without the sugar overload :). So I have learnt the hard way to avoid too much fondant..I know it makes the cake look really good and allows you to go creative with the theme..but it takes yuk and goes for a complete waste. Maybe pick one or two figures/objects that are made in fondant but please please avoid covering the whole cake with it…just plain old icing is yummy. Again for cupcakes..same thing, if you want to go creative..use recycled paper and make toppers on toothpicks but don’t put fondant toppings on them..they just go waste. So a few places for amazing cakes in Bangalore are Lavonne, Infinite, Leela place and the there are several individuals who do an amazing job.
4. Activities – this totally depends on the age group. In fact the selection of venue should be based on the age group and interest in activities. I am not a big fan of keeping kids indoors cooped up and so I like outdoor venues. Then again if the party is for early teens..nothing like booking a movie hall or bowling alley. You just have to again think of what your kid would like. Mine loves to run around and loves water..pool party for 3yr olds was not possible so the next best option was a splash pool. I thought adding some muddy puddles with that would be fun too since that’s what the characters in the peppa pig cartoon do all the time !! It’s important not to over do the activities either..recently for the children’s day fair at our school, some of the mothers did a ‘paint the pot and then pot a plant’ activity and I thought something creative, educative and environmentally friendly is a super activity for kids of all age groups is a brilliant activity.
5. Party favors/Give away presents – last but not the least…this is a big one and the only one you need to plan in advance depending on what you are planning to give. Kids love birthdays because they get a present back 🙂 Iike to put a lot of thought into this one..age group of course plays in big role in deciding what sort of a give away present you can give. Now after the painting and potting activity..taking that pot home itself is a great give away present but along with that it’s great to give stuff that again is something that’s useful. Any sort of colours..colour pencils, crayons, paints are all great..always. There is never enough of these at home..in case of my daughter’s age group of 3…so is play dough …there is never enough and so giving just tubs of play dough is great. I personally love encouraging reading and so love giving books. It’s kind of my thing so it’s was a no-brainer for me to give Peppa pig books. The more you read yourself, read to your kids and keep books all around you in accessible locations the more you create a culture of reading. Anyhow point being books are always a great give aways..I know kids are not always as thrilled by it as cars and toys but there is never enough books 🙂 I like to plan in advance and either order in bulk at a store or online and that’s why I said this is the only one that needs to be done well in advance.
Now all of the above is not possible without a list. Soo so important!! Make your list of kids and their ages..don’t give something to a 8yr old that you would to a 3yr old..it’s as good as not giving anything. Don’t be annoying about it but try to get RSVPs so you know how many of what give always you need.
Finally on this long post of birthday mania…make list of to dos and who will be doing what and prep them in advance so that they know what exactly you have planned and want done….especially on that Day, otherwise you will end up running around to do everything from putting music to greeting everyone to trying to manage all the activities and if your kid is young then she will be overwhelmed by everyone and so will want you to be with her as well…so Plan in advance and Delegate with clear instructions 😀
Most important..celebrate your child’s birthday only every few years hehe